Canadians and Canadian Residents: Which Canadian city did you enjoy living in most?

  • hartfan

    Posts: 1038

    Mar 25, 2018 3:07 PM GMT
    Hi Canadians and Canada-philes, planning a move to Canada and trying to decide between different cities. Looking for thoughtful, constructive responses from your personal experience or otherwise. Why did you like a certain city and what criteria/priorities were most important in your preference? Doesn't have to be limited to the trio of Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. Thanks and much appreciated.
  • CecilWitte

    Posts: 623

    Mar 25, 2018 9:22 PM GMT
    Well Calgary is fine. I am biased though because I never lived anywhere else, lol.
    Not a big party city though. It is more of a quiet city, if that is what you want.
    Also, imho, Canada is not as liberal as people think. It is actually a very conservative country. You just have to compare it to EU countries to see it.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Mar 25, 2018 10:05 PM GMT
    wow, where to start. I have lived in many cities across Canada as my father was posted in different places over my childhood. I was born in the province of Alberta, but, raised basically in Toronto, Ontario. To answer your question, it really depends on what you are looking for.

    If you like the hustle and bustle of the big city, Toronto and Montreal are where you will find it. You also mentioned Vancouver and it would fit in that category as well. Everything is available in those cities your heart could desire. Toronto is the centre of English Canada, settled by the British over 200 ears ago and most recently named on of the top 10 multi-cultural cities in the world. It is becoming more and more Americanized in its make up and attitudes in that it is becoming increasingly more violent. Canada has never really had a race problem unless you are describing its First Nation population, but, when it comes to blacks and whites historically Canada was the country that slaves ran TO in order to find their freedom (see The Freedom Railway). In order to escape the racial tensions in the U.S. many Afro-Americans have chosen to move to Canada especially Toronto to find a better life and like most people we welcome them with open arms. Frankly as Canadians we generally don't care if you are white, black, asian, green skinned with orange polkadots, whatever. However, racism has followed them as well as the many other groups who have moved there from overseas; Muslims and Shiria law, East Indians and mercy killings, Chinese gangs, you name it it is all in Toronto. Fantastic city, breathtaking buildings and culture, just be aware it is like any other big cosmopolitan city in the world. Toronto is EXPENSIVE and the current Provincial Government continues to increase taxes and spending. They have also applied a new carbon tax, have the highest electricity rates in North America and the cost of housing is as high as in New York or L.A.

    Montreal is a beautiful city on several islands and European than Toronto. Montreal has some wonderful old architecture. Founded by the French, it is probably one of the most beautiful French cities outside of Paris. To really fit in well you will need to learn Canadian French or Quebecois. There is a very distinct attitude in the Province of Quebec that if you don't even try to speak French they will not even acknowledge you in many stores. Don't get me wrong, the people of Quebec are very loving, open and accepting for the most part, but, when it comes to French vs English there is a history spanning over 300 years of animosity. Montreal overall is not as cosmopolitan as Toronto so the racism experienced in Toronto is far less in Montreal. The economy in the province is growing and so are the opportunities and taxes are not bad there. Again, the cost of housing is creeping up there because new housing laws in Ontario (Toronto) and B.C. (Vancouver) are pushing foreign investors away from there and to Montreal, whose government have not yet found it necessary to enact the same regulations, yet.

    Vancouver is nicknamed, Hongcouver. When the Chinese took back Hong Kong from the British in 1997, Vancouver was the city of choice for Hong Kong residents who fled. Little China in Vancouver exploded and has one of the largest Chinese populations outside of China. They brought their wealth and knowledge with them and the city has seen a huge upside in investment. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Vancouver is recognised as one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It has more green space than any city with over 1 million population in North America, has amazing access to the Pacific and a huge international airport as do Toronto and Montreal. Winters in Vancouver are far better than in the rest of the country as it enjoys the Pacific trade winds which means winter is generally more like Seattle in the US. Vancouver is famous for swimming in the ocean in the morning and skiing on the most amazing ski hills in the afternoon. It is very cosmopolitan and every where you turn you will see people from some other part of the world. Vancouver is a younger city than Toronto or Montreal and it shows as its architecture is fairly new and refreshing. Vancouver is a city that is consumed by being on the cutting ede off the newest eco systems and many of its newest buildings have rec'd the Green Awards for being environmentally friendly.

    All three of the major cities above have large LGBTQ communities that are vibrant and growing.

    Go to youtube and look up these smaller city alternatives...Quebec City (France in North America-European to its core), Moncton New Brunswick, Halifax Nova Scotia, Fredricton New Brunswick, St John's NewFoundLand, Cape Breton Nova Scotia (Ireland in Canada), Calgary and Edmonton Alberta (cheapest taxes in the country), Winnipeg Manitoba(9 months of snow and winter, often referred to as Winterpeg), Ottawa Ontario (Nations Capital) and Windsor (Canadian-US border city). I could go on, but, not enough time here to cover all the alternatives, but, these are the best places to explore and a great starting point for you.

    Good luck.